(GunReports.com) — A federal court has ordered the city of Madison, Wisconsin, to pay members of Wisconsin Carry, a gun-rights group, $10,000 to settle a lawsuit.
The judgment last week closes a case that developed when police cited five people for disorderly conduct after they openly carried handguns into a fast-food restaurant.
The members of Wisconsin Carry, Inc. who were illegally detained and charged were Frank Hannan Rock, Matthew Lutz, Shawn Winrich, Steve Jensen, and Paul Fisher.
The City Of Madison, Wisconsin, officers directly involved in the matter were Jason Ramirez, Bernie Gonzalez, Harrison Zanders, Colleen Michelson, Heather Dzick, and Thomas Helgren, according to the complaint and judgment.
The citations were eventually dropped, but the group sued the city. Wisconsin Carry alleged that the officers violated the members’ Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.
Wisconsin Carry spokesman Nik Clark says he would have preferred a higher damage judgment to send a stronger message.
The state has since passed a concealed-carry law that codifies open carry.
On September 18, 2010, five law abiding Wisconsin residents were peacefully having dinner at a Culver’s Restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. These five individuals, who were legally openly carrying as provided by Wisconsin law, had finished their dinner and were preparing to leave the restaurant when they were unlawfully detained by a mass of Madison police officers.
Despite the absence of reasonable suspicion or probable cause of any crime or violation, Madison police illegally demanded identification from the men under the threat of arrest if they did not comply. Two individuals who chose not to comply with the illegal action of the Madison police were subsequently arrested and cited for obstruction. Two days later those unlawfully issued citations were rescinded and all five men, even those who complied with the officers illegal demands, were issued citations for disorderly conduct.
On May 5, 2011, the frivolous disorderly conduct charges against all five men were dropped.
Wisconsin Carry, Inc. a non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting and advancing the right of Wisconsinites to carry in the manner of their choosing, open or concealed, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Madison and the five Madison Police officers who participated in the unlawful detainment and treatment of these five individuals. A copy of that lawsuit is available below, as is the judgment.